The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a series of suicide attacks in Sweida (As-Sweida province) on Wednesday, July 25, that killed at least 252 people, including 139 civilians, and wounded at least 150 others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Shortly after the attacks, Syrian government forces launched airstrikes on suspected militant positions. According to SOHR, at least 63 militants were killed in airstrikes and other fighting on Wednesday.
Syria remains enmeshed in a complex civil war that started between the Assad government and opposition forces in March 2011. Today, the conflict in Syria involves many parties, including the Syrian, Russian, Iranian, and Turkish governments, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.